Dan Blocker loved being Hoss, but hated rehearsal

The 6'4 giant loved playing the role of Hoss Cartwright, but hated the rehearsals. "I'm a lazy cowboy," he said.

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Whenever Dan Blocker had a day off, he would make the best of it.

Blocker was known for playing Hoss Cartwright on the hit series, Bonanza. The giant 6'4 star loved playing the role of Hoss, but had trouble finding a break when filming Bonanza episodes. Blocker and the rest of the cast would be on set five days a week.

In a 1968 interview with Fort Lauderdale News, Blocker explained that being part of the Bonanza cast meant turning down other roles and potential gigs.

"The trouble with the series is that it keeps us so occupied that we've had to turn down about five major things this year alone," Blocker said. "There are millions of other things I'd like to do. But we're like you guys on the paper, we've got a deadline with Bonanza."

It's fun to imagine what other roles and projects Blocker might've taken during his time on the show, and it leaves us wondering what could have been.

As for keeping in shape during filming, Blocker would have rather been doing anything else.

"I don't work out anymore. I did for almost 15 years. Mike Landon is always in the gym with weights, but not me. I'm a lazy cowboy," he said. "I get enough of a workout just shooting the series. It takes six days to shoot one episode, and we work five days a week, so we always overlap into the next week."

Blocker became so familiar to viewers, that many considered him family. As much as Hoss meant to viewers, he also meant a lot to Blocker. Although, being Hoss wasn't always effortless. In fact, the effort and the many rehearsals it took to film Bonanza, was probably one of his least favorite things.

"Every rehearsal cuts down on spontaneity," he said. "By the time I've done a walk to the door four or five times, I begin to limp or even try to put some emotion into it. That's ridicolous. Nobody thinks about how they walk to a door."

The next time you're watching Bonanza, just remember the many long hours Dan Blocker put in to not wanting to rehearse the scenes. With or without rehearsal, Blocker was the perfect fit to play Hoss.

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10 Comments

IndianaRockz 9 months ago
Out of the 3 Cartwright boys, I love Hoss the best! He is kindhearted & a big ol teddybear.
MichaelPowers 14 months ago
Jackie Gleason felt the same as Dan regarding doing rehearsals.
Muleskinner 18 months ago
Great actor who served his country in the military.
Andybandit 18 months ago
Rehearsal must of been hard for all actors and actresses. Dan Blocker played Hoss very well. After he passed away. Bonanza was not as good.

MichaelSkaggs Andybandit 18 months ago
It could have survived the loss of Dan Blocker. It couldn't survive the change to Tuesday nights.
Pacificsun MichaelSkaggs 18 months ago
Yeah, wasn't it a Sunday night show, NBC in Color! There's something about viewing TV on a Sunday Night which brings the Family together.
RedSamRackham Andybandit 18 months ago
* On 1972 season premiere after Dan "Hoss" Blocker died we got a much hyped "Wedding of Little Joe" 2-part episode. In part 2 Joe's wife is pregnant. This would've added new life to the series with Joe being married and Ben having a grand-child. But Nooooooo! Episode ended with the wife being killed and the viewers quickly rejected the Ben, Joe, Candy and Jamie show sending ratings into the dumper. After more than a decade this was just 1 dead bride too many.
BenSobeleone Pacificsun 18 months ago
Thanks Pacificsun. I remember watching Bonanza on Sunday nights after dinner. We usually had roast beef, mashed potatoes with beef gravy, creamed corn and then hot apple pie for dessert on Sundays.
Pacificsun BenSobeleone 18 months ago
😉 A nice memory, shared!
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